CNN Deceptively Attributes Hamas Casualty Figures to “Aid Group”

CNN can’t help itself. Last week, the network was caught uncritically spreading Hamas’s propaganda that Israel struck Al-Ahli hospital on October 17th. A week later, CNN is back at it, once again spreading Hamas claims, but this time deceiving its audience into thinking the terrorist organization’s casualty figures came from a legitimate, independent source.

“2,000 children killed in Gaza, aid group says, as tempers flare at UN amid ceasefire calls,” blares an October 24th headline from CNN. The problem? That aid group – which the article never identifies – is just repeating the figures given out by Hamas.

After the headline, the article repeats the claim: “Aid agencies have been calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, with one saying at least 2,000 children in Gaza have been killed in the past few weeks…” Which aid agency said that is never clarified. Only by looking at a previous CNN article, “Save the Children says at least 2,000 children killed in Gaza,” can we deduce that the “aid agency” in question is Save the Children.

That earlier article links to a statement posted on Save the Children’s website, which begins with: “At least 2,000 children have been killed in Gaza over the past 17 days…” The words “have been killed” are hyperlinked to an article in Deutsche Welle entitled “More than 5,000 killed in Gaza, Hamas-run Health Ministry says.” That Deutsche Welle article, in turn, cites Hamas for those figures:

At least 5,087 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched retaliatory air strikes in Gaza on October 7, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said.

Of those, 2,055 were children, and 1,119 were women. Another 15,273 people were wounded in the strikes, the ministry said. (Emphasis added)

In other words, that “aid group’s” figures are not its own. They are Hamas’s figures.

To make it all the more egregious, CNN cites those exact same figures later in the article, acknowledging they come from the “Hamas-controlled Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza,” but does so as if those figures are distinct from the “aid group” figures.

Once again, CNN is uncritically airing Hamas claims.

After CNN got the story of Al-Ahli hospital so wrong, the network’s Oliver Darcy wrote a self-serving attempt to explain away the network’s error as a consequence of “fog of war.” The “fog of war” cannot explain this error, which could have been prevented with a few seconds of investigation into the aid agency’s claim.

As CAMERA wrote after the hospital incident, CNN’s error was simply “bad journalism.” That error has repeated itself.

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